Indoor track and field heats up for GNAC Championships

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Indoor track and field heats up for GNAC Championships

Dez Rodriguez, Assistant Sports Editor

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With only a handful of meets left in the season, the CWU indoor track and field team is coming on strong as the GNAC championship draws closer. Head coach Kevin Adkisson and his team are excited about the opportunity ahead of them.

Last year, the women’s indoor track and field team were crowned GNAC Champions for the first time in school history. They accumulated 136 team points and tied with Seattle Pacific University for a share of first place.

“The women are still gonna be in as good of position as last year to be in the hunt for that title again,” Adkisson said. “[The] guys is a smaller squad, but we still hope to have that good showing with a lot of high placings.”

Sidney Trinidad, Katie Collins and Erykah Weems are looking to repeat as 4×400-meter relay champions after they won the event last season alongside, now-graduated, Ali Anderson with a time of 3:50:64. Mariyah Vongsaveng is also looking to match last year’s mark after winning the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.58 seconds at the GNAC Indoor Track and Field Conference Championships last season.

Alexa Shindruk is heating up again, as she finished first in the mile with a time of 5:09:04 at the WSU Invite on Feb. 18, and then set a personal record in the 3000-meter race with a time of 9:42:19 the following weekend at the UW Invite.

A pair of Wildcat throwers, Samantha La Rue and Aidan Cain, are also primed to improve. La Rue set a new personal record in the weight throw after throwing 16.28m (53-05.00) at the UW invite, close to best marks in the conference. Cain performed well at the most recent WSU Invite on Feb.1, winning the shot put with a throw of 15.57m (51-01.00) and finishing second in the weight throw with a toss of 17.77m (58-03.75).

“The success is a combination of being comfortable and being able to work harder and push myself,” La Rue said. “It’s also having a coach that’s willing to support me and help me and keep me growing through the year.”

The men’s team placed sixth last year, finishing with a total of 64.5 points behind Concordia who won the event with 114 points. Braydon Maier highlighted the men’s side after capturing the heptathlon event title with a total of 5,006 points. The heptathlon includes a  55 meter sprint, long jump, high jump, 60-meter hurdles, pole vault, shot-put and the 1,000 meter race. Maier finished first in both the hurdles and pole vault on the way to a monster finish for his freshman season.

Daniel Calderon, Trevaughn Scott, Ryan Gunther and Doc Porter won the 4×400-meter relay with a time of 3:26:13 at the recent WSU Invite. The lack of snow this winter has allowed the team to better prepare outside at the newly built Recreation Sports Complex.

“For guys, it’s harder with the smaller roster, but I think there’s a lot of good guys out there so we’ll see what we can do,” Cain said. “Especially in the throws, Ethan and I are pushing to get top 10 in both of them.”

The GNAC Indoor Track and Field Championships will be held in Nampa, Idaho at the Ford Idaho Center, Feb. 15 through Feb. 16. CWU is one of 11 programs looking to make their presence felt.

“The week of GNAC, we’re not going to be loading them with any hard workouts early in the week,” Adkisson said. “That’s a week where we’re trying to just have a couple tuneup workouts to get them a little more rested and prepared.”

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